How to fix a wheel or tire for your older vintage Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires : Replace a missing tire with new parts
How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires : Replace a missing tire with new parts

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires. I cannot tell you how many Cozy Coupes from Little Tikes I rescued from the garbage, or recycling, just because they were missing a tire, or front wheel assembly. Maybe people don’t have the time, or energy to fix them, but maybe they just don’t think they can. So here’s what I know of how to fix them, in the hopes that more are rescued from the landfills.

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires:

Find Replacement Parts


Little Tikes offers lots of replacements parts, and you can get them from just calling the 1-800 number that is printed on your toy, or on their website. If they don’t have cozy coupe kits with the wireforms available anymore, then you can find sellers on Ebay who will offer what you need.

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires :

Vintage 1980s Original Model Cozy Coupe: Front wheel Assembly Replacment

With the older 1980s vintage models, the front wheels, and wireforms are quite different from the newer models, but you can modify the newer parts to fit them.  The major differences are in the wireforms.

Front Left Little Tikes Cozy Coupe wireform comparisons. and measurements, Vintage 1980s vs 1990s model (no eyes) vs the 30th anniversary, (has the eyes). These measurement go from the edge of the rod, to the notch that catches the washer to hold the tire or bushings in place.
Recognize the notch to take proper measurements.
All the wireforms have this notch. My measurement are from this notch to the end of the rod. This is the important measurement to understand.


How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires :

Equal Sizes for Both Front, or Both Back is Important

There are two forms needed for the front, a right and a left. If you are unsure which one you need, I’ll put that to an end now. You need both, as the angle is different, and the newer tires are larger so you have to replace both wireforms and tires at the same time. If both your vintage tires are still useable then you could use them. The idea is that it must be the same on both sides. So the tires must match, and the wireforms must match each other.

Comparison of vintage Little Tikes cozy coupe tire vs a 30th Anniversary model coupe
Comparison of vintage Little Tikes cozy coupe tire vs a 30th Anniversary model coupe

Yes it sounds expensive, but if you sell the parts you don’t need, that can cut the cost down a bit. I know it is not hard to list them on Ebay and sell them.  Maybe have a peak on Ebay first to see if someone is selling a vintage tire, or wireform before ordering new parts from Little Tikes.

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires :

Removing The Old Parts

A word about dismantling your older coupe. If you can avoid pulling off the old version cap nuts, do it, as they are VERY hard to pry off. And if someone knows a trick to this I would love to hear it.

A Comparison: Old Little Tikes vintage cozy coupe capnuts, vs the new cozy coupe capnuts.
Old Little Tikes vintage cozy coupe cap nuts, vs the new cozy coupe cap nuts. These cap nuts are quite universal too.

I think I found the easiest way to get them off is with a pry bar and a hammer and just tapping the pry bar with a hammer to wiggle it off. But rarely any of them were able to put back on.  I just pull off the top cap nut and the rest of the wheel assembly will come off all together.

Vintage Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Front Wheel Assembly
Removing just the top cap nut will leave you with the vintage wheel assembly still all together. Ready to sell on Ebay to someone else.

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires:

Save Your Old Parts if Possible

Definitely try to save the original bushings, as they are shorter, and can make assembly easier. If you don’t have them, or you are going to use them with on another car,  you can use the newer ones, but then you need to increase the length of your upper straight length, the part that goes through the body of the car.

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires:

Measure Your Cut

Once you have both tires and wireforms off, put on the new version ones. They will be too long for the older coupe,  but you can measure them out on where to cut them. The length will change depending on whether you have the old or new bushings. So measure them with the bushings you are going to use.  Give yourself a good 2 cm of clearance on the top. If you find the wheel is a little loose you can pry off the newer version cap nut much easier recut the wireform, and put it back on. Obviously if you cut it too short, you won’t be able to use it, so really put a lot of thought into the length. And as I said before, you have to replace them with either two new wheel assemblies, right and left sides, with wireforms, and wheels, or find some vintage parts you need, and replace them. If you end up replacing with all new parts, please sell the old stuff you had. I promise you there is someone out there who needs that left tire you don’t anymore.  🙂

How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires

Make Your Cut

So here you are, you have two new 30th anniversary wireforms, and two new tires from a 30th anniversary, how do you make it fit your coupe. Easy cut it with a hack saw to the right length.

Just cut it with a hack saw
Just cut it with a hack saw


A vise grip holding it to a work bench makes life easier, but I have to admit I have tried several Macguiver type set-ups and it still worked out fine.

I’ll be adding more to this hopefully adding links and more pictures and stuff.  Please feel free to ask questions. I will try to answer as quickly as I can.

60 thoughts on “How to Fix Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Wheels or Tires”

  1. I recovered a new model (30th anniversary) cozy coup from a neighboring friend who was going to trash his. I have since restored it and made so heavy modifications. What I am looking at now is a replacement wheel not wire. The ones on the coup are fine but that’s not the issue. I want to modify them to look nicer like a real rim on a current car. My question for you is do you know of another wheel I can use or hub cap for that one off look.
    A little about the coup, it has lights, interior, custom seat, headliner and even a stereo. this will kind of give you an idea of what I’m trying to do.
    Any ideas or info would be greatly appreciated.


    • That sounds really good. You can get the hub caps for them, I think you would have to buy a complete kit from Little Tikes, or you can find sellers on Ebay who will have just the hub caps for sale. I probably have some, but I am in the middle of moving and I am not sure how long it would take me to find them. I could also make decals for them. I have made a white wall tire look, and if I can find the picture, I’ll add it to this post. Other then that, there should be about a 10 mm gap between the capnut, and the tire, that would be where you could put something that works. I hope that helps, and if I can think of a macgyver answer to this question, I’ll add it to the post. -Melissa 🙂

    • Really your only limitation is the diameter of the outside of the wheel, and the diameter of the inside of the wheel, where the rod goes through. If you searched for a wheel, with those particular diameters, you probably would find quite a few choices on the web. I find Amazon has pretty much everything, and they have a strong search engine. Also the thickness would be a factor, and you would have to decide all of that for yourself. Like what type of look you are going for.

      If you were thinking of another cozy coupe tire… say like one from the cozy truck, or something like that. I could measure one out for you to see if it would work for your porject. Let me know if you want to to do that. I have some time this weekend.

      Melissa 🙂

  2. Very happy I found your website! I just got a vintage cozy coupe ( the exact one in the top picture on this post). I am wanting to turn it into a “Batmobile” and I need to replace the gas cap, and I did read your post about the new model one being able to fit the older model ( which is awesome) but I also need a new steering wheel! Do you know if the new model steering wheels will fit the vintage model? Just wanted to find out before I order the parts. Thanks!

  3. Hi! I have recently inherited a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe (red & yellow) but I can’t fix the top. I think something is missing, I do have the two pipes that support the top, but I can’t insert them within. And the backside is missing the screws or something, what can I do? Do you have any advice about how to fix this with other materials? Please HELP! I want to fix it for my two year old son.

    • Hello,
      I am guessing that there would be a smaller tube that goes inside the front columns, and inside the body to secure it, but I will take a peak at my coupe, and see what it looks like, and I’ll take some picture as well. Maybe if I have the time, I’ll write up a post on it. I’ll get back to you. Melissa 🙂

  4. Hello
    I have recently acquired a 1980s tikes coupe. The left wheel seems to be a little stiff at times. Looking at the connections, it seems that the right wheel which moves freely, is missing a plastic tube thing where the wheel wire goes through the car and therefore a lot looser. Should I just remove the plastic tube or should I try to find something to stuff inside for the right wheel?

    I am not in US, and tikes are a bit limited in supplying spare parts here

    • Hello, I think it is the bushings you are missing. I have some extra ones for the 90s coupe, and they might be a little too long, but if it were just the one you are replacing there is a chance that it will be ok. I might even have a used set from an 80s coupe, that would be the better choice for you. I’ll take a peak and see if I can find it first. But if I can’t find it, I can list the 90s bushings for you at cost, just so you can try them out. I’ll get back to you shortly. Melissa 🙂

      • Thank you Melissa

        I am all the way down in Sydney Australia, where are you based?
        Just checked the guide again, I think mine is a 1990s not 1980s.

        More worried about how to pay you for them.

        • Awesome, I have what you need then. I can put a listing on ebay for the shipping, so for $6 shipping, I’ll just make you a customer order for that. Did you want two of them?, do you need the washers as well? 🙂

  5. Melissa

    A friend has actually offered to try to print those things out for me with the 3D printer. I am going to see how that works out first.

    Thanks very much though. If it doesnt work out I will contact you again.

  6. Hi,
    I have a vintage cozy coupe. I’m trying to restore it, and turn it into a Minnie Mouse Car. The problem is that one of my hubcaps is broken and two capnuts are cracked. Will the new capnuts fit on the vintage car? If not, where can I purchase more capnuts? Also do you sell Minnie Mouse Decals for the vintage coupe?

  7. I’m wanting to convert my 80’s style coupe into a batmobile. It needs new tires, so I will need to replace all 4 right? And will need new wires for them as well?

    • HI Sarah,
      If your wireforms are still in good shape, you should be able to reuse them. You can order the replacement tires from Little if you are in the US, or Canada, and I think you might be able to order from thier international sites if you are in Europe. Otherwise Ebay is a good alternative. The 30th, or 90s tire, (same thing) will work well for your car. Just as long as you make it equal on all sides, so all four tires have to be the same, or the two front, and the two back have to be the same. If you r wireform need to be replaced, then look into buying a kit from Little Tikes. I don’t know if they still have them for sale, but as long as you can get the wireforms, you can then cut them to fit your car. Please feel free to ask me any further questions,
      Melissa 🙂

  8. Hi I am looking to replace some parts on I think a 1990s cozy coupe ( model 485500) I saw the comments for the wheels and steering wheel but do you know if the 30th anniversary floorboard and key fits in that model?

    • Yes, Little has wheel replacement parts available. The 30th wheels are the same as (What I call) the 90s model. If they don’t offer them, you can always find a seller on Ebay selling them.

  9. I have a vintage 1980s cozy coupe and need to replace a wheel or tire. I called Little Tykes and they gave me replacement part 4855 for the Cozy Coupe II car. Will thsese tires fit the vintage coupe?

    • Yes, as long as you have two of them for both sides of the car, the left and right sides of the car. Front and back are not as important to be the same, the car will just sit more forward, or backwards, but you don’t want it to lean to the left or right. Please feel free to ask me any further questions, Melissa 🙂

  10. Awesome website! I’ve been repairing a Cozy Coupe at my child’s school and your information is spot on!

    We have a Relax & Ride wagon at home, and I’ve been trying to find a solution for the wonky front swivels. They just don’t seem to like the weight or length (or maybe both).

    I’m thinking about replacing the plastic bushings with needle-roller bearings, but wonder if the wireforms are partly to blame for the bad handling? They don’t seem to be bent, but who knows with as many times as the wheels have jammed while pulling it.

    Any ideas?

    • Thank-you so much!

      I actually had the exact same problem with my kids wagon too. I found that the washers were missing. So the wireform needs a washer before the plastic bushing, and then into the body of the wagon, and then another bushing on top and a new tight capnut on top. Maybe even a washer on top as well, before the capnut, (I just can’t think from memory my wagon is not at hand right now). I’m not sure why mine was missing, but it held the bushing in the right place, so the wireforms didn’t move or sway with pulling or turning the wagon. I am guessing that the wagons just have more stress on them, and those parts wear out faster. Let me know if that helps at all. I can add some pictures of my wagon if you would like. Melissa 🙂

  11. Have just bought a used 30th Anniversary model in near new condition but the left front wheel does not swivel freely and constantly jams making it hard to use. Is there any solution to this? Thanks!

    • Yes, my guess is that the wheel is not assembled properly. At the top there would be a cap nut, then a white bushing that pushes into the body of the car, then below that, and under the body of the car, there is another white bushing that is pushed upward into the body of the car, and then a washer* (This might be where your problem is) then the wireform curves down towards the wheel. Then on the inside of the wheel is another washer, the wheel, and then the cap nut. If you are missing some of those parts, I will have some available soon, but you can find some sellers on Ebay who will be selling one or two of the cap nuts, bushings. Washers you can get at home depot. I am trying to make some better pictures of the wheel assembly to help out. I’ll add to this comment when I do. Melissa 🙂

  12. Hi I am so glad I found your website. I recently got a Little Tikes 1979 red cozy coupe from my neighbor. I have triplet girls and they are two years old now and ready to play. Unfortunately the rear wheels are cracked and I was wondering if you new how hard it was to replace them? I called Little Tikes and they do not have replacement wheels for this version. Can I use the 30th Anniversary wheels with the same axle or do I have to get the new axle? It is just a straight bar so I’m not sure if I need a new one or not. Thanks so much for your advice in advance!

    • Hello,
      Sorry I didn’t respond earlier. I wanted to measure out my coupe to see if the new 30th tires would fit, but I have moved recently, and I don’t have my workshop up and running yet. I will respond again to your comment when I have the measurements and a decent answer for you.

      Melissa 🙂

  13. Hello! So glad I found this site! Super helpful!! One of the wheels for my vintage coup has fallen off and I’m gathering from the comments that I need a cap nut? Is there a part I can get at my local hardware store that will secure the tire or do I need to order something specific? Thanks for your help!

    • Hello,
      I would first try to go to your local hardware store to see if they have something similar. It doesn’t have to have the red plastic top, it can also be a metal top hat looking thing. Look for a cap nut that fits 3/8 inch rod. I will try to add some good pictures of the cap nuts soon, so that you can show it to your local hardware guy. If they don’t have it, I have some and can list them on Ebay, or there will be other sellers selling them.

      Melissa 🙂

  14. Cozy Coupe in attic. I have a blue cozy coupe in our attic. It’s been up there 10-12 years or more. Several years back I had to put on a new pull down stairs for the attic, and I used a size that was the next smaller size of attic stairs. As a result, the coupe won’t fit through the opening. It has mirrors. So…I think my only options are to pull the entire pull-down stairs, or take off some of the pieces. It sounds like taking it apart is problematic. Any ideas?

    • Hello Bob,
      Yes you should be able to take the top off. I does depend on the model of car. Can you send me a picture of your car? Usually there are screws holding the top on, depending on the model, they might be on the lower part of the back pillars, or if you have the grand coupe, I am not sure where. If you don’t see the screw tops, then there might be screw covers on them. It would look like a plastic bubble, they just pry off with a flat head screw driver. Once you unscrew the screws, the top will have to be pushed and pulled a bit to unclick them together. There is usually some kind of plastic knob, or notch that snaps the pieces together. It sounds like you only need to take the top off, so I hope that helps. If you send me a picture I can try to help. Melissa 🙂

  15. hello,
    I just scored a 1979/1980s coup. It needs new wheels. Will the 30th anniversary wheels fit? Or do I need to get new wire forms?

    • I am not 100% sure on that one. From the measurements I have you might be able to just use the old wireforms. If the shipping from Little Tikes is not too much, I would just order the wheels first, and see if they fit, then if you have to go back and order the full wireform set you can. I will try to find my old examples I used from this post and see if they do infact fit.

  16. I have a vintage 1979 cozy coupe. Wire forms are still intact. Can I use the Replacement Wheels For –
    Ride & Rescue™ Cozy Coupe® #400t for the two front tires?

    Thanks in advance

  17. Hello! Great information!! It sounds as though you may be able to help ne with the parts I am searching for!! I have a little tikes black classic truck. I am needing to replace the hubcaps, cap nuts and the gas cap. Little Tikes no longer has the replacement parts for this item. Do you know if I could use parts from a cozy coupe, or any other Little Tikes ride on toy, to reolace the part mentioned above on the classic truck?
    Thanks in advance – illyana

    • Hello,
      This blog post, is all about how to use the newer tires on the older coupes. They are different sizes, but if you order two new tires, and replace on each side. For example, both the front, or both the back tires, then it will be balanced. I am not sure if the older wire forms are wide enough for the newer tires, so you may have to also replace the wire forms as well. Little Tikes has a kit that has all the wire forms in it. As of this writing, the 30th Anniversary coupes should have a kit that can be modified to work.

      I will also try to measure up the inside of the newer tires to see if the older vintage wireforms would still work… and I will add that to this post as well. Melissa 🙂

  18. I have a cozy coupe that has 1979 on the bottom and need new tires, one is cracked. Do you happen to have any or know where I can purchase, little tikes does not have any that old listed. Thanks

  19. FYI : To easily remove the Cozy Coupe capnuts, I used a paint can opener tool that you can get from a hardware store. Took 30 secs to remove a tight cap.
    I found this to be easier than using a flat head screwdriver and rubber mallet. I spent 10 mins trying to remove them this way before thinking about the paint can opener tool and made little progress.

  20. Hi there. I have a 1979 Cozy Coupe that I’m restoring. Have you ever tried Penetrol to bring the colour back? Mine is very faded. I’m not sure whether to try that product or to just try using a heat gun. Also wondering if you sell the decals for this one, and if you know if it came with an ignition and key?


    • I don’t have any replacement posts at the moment, I would try Ebay to see if someone has them listed. 🙂

  21. I have popped off capnuts with the claw end of a hammer. Put the axle between the claws and pull straight out forcefully

  22. I was given a little tikes wagon to use in my garden. I have not seen another like it. I think it is a 1990’s vintage. It is green in color and has two removeable side panels. I think the wheel wires are damaged as the existing wheels track like the wires are bent. I know the people used it to carry rocks out of their yard. Where can I get replacement wires? Thanks for any help

    • You might gat away with the 30th Anniversary Coupe wireforms. I had that some wagon before, and used it for the same thing. It is a really good wagon. If I still had it would look at the wireforms to see. If you can send me a picture, or some measurements, I might be able to help. Melissa 🙂

  23. We have a Cozy Coupe from the 90’s that belonged to our boys. We would like our grandson to be able to use it. However, the plastic where the wheel mount goes into the car has a hole, so the wheel moves up into the car. The stud that holds the front wheel in has pulled through the plastic. Is there a way to fix it?

    • Could you send me a picture? You may just need some bushings, but you can also repair the plastic too. If I can see what is happening I would be better able to help you. Melissa 🙂

  24. Hi,
    I want to throw out my son’s red/yellow model but he’s heart broken. The steering wheel is detached from the wheels. Anything I can rig myself to connect the steering wheel to his wheels? Thanks!

    • You may be able to order a new Y clip and O ring from Little Tikes. If not, check out your local hardware store to see if they have an O ring that could substitute. I have thought that you could put a long narrow bolt through the hole in the steering wheel to hold it on. I will try to add that to this post when I have a chance to.

      Melissa 🙂

  25. Hi, I’m a little over my head now and remembered how much I liked this site when referencing some information on restoring my lil boys 30th anniversary cozy coupe, so now I’m back in search of more info on a new project! My boy is turning 3 in March of 19′ and is quickly out growing the cozy coupe. Luckily or unluckily I found some strange rare 2 seater, extra wide, 2 door cozy coupe online in super used condition. ; ) Since it appears I cannot share a pic or link Im not sure you will have seen one before. It has about 8.5″ diameter tires and the axles are much larger than standard. If you search the key words, 2 seater rare cozy coupe and then search with the google images tab it should come up quick with one having been sold in Singapore. Well Im not sure how anyone can help but Im going to call little tikes and see what the heck the car is. The phone number is embossed on the tires. They are pretty nice and are embossed with “quiet ride tire” on them too so seem possibly softer than the standard tire. Possibly what they use on some of their wagons. Anyhow, ill hopefully let you know how it goes. I need to replace the two front axles which are bent. Also need to epoxy a pvc or plexiglass sheet so it can have a floor board. Ill let you in on a cool secret i used on my sons other coupe. I used semi wide standard rubberbands from walmart and put quite a few around the wheels. Added some glue to it kinda zig zagging back and forth across the rubber bands. Id add like 5 on at a time until i had 30 or 40 or so on each tire. Took all of ten minutes but I made sure the rubber bands were the only part making contact with the pavement and as smooth as i could. Adding them kind of uniformly so there wasnt any wheel wobbles or whatever. Anyways. The rubber bands hold up well. They are under 2.00. And the coupe rides so much quieter. Its almost unhealthy how loud it is inside the driver seat once its going down the pavement. I used some thick black electrical tape meant for high voltage wires and that holds up really well too around the rubber bands too. Also helps blend better with the tire so if you can find black rubber bands that would be better. Cant remember the size off hand but remember just grabbing the widest ones they had at wallmart. I use one of those segway hover board things to push my kid around to local parks and sometimes around a 3 mile little lake. I used a velcro mounted bottle holder for bikes that is at target to put a bluetooth jbl flip 4 speaker on it so we have music to listen too. Ha. Anyways. He barely fits in it now and sure he wouldnt hold up in it well for longer durations anymore. So luckily I can fix up the new project one. Know there were other people looking for bigger models so maybe this info was a little useful but definitley try out the rubber bands, maybe without the glue at first, and see how much nicer it is if you push them in their cozy coupe alot. Im welcoming any feedback or input reguarding my lil coupe quest so feel free. Hopefully this site allows me to add any updates when i have them in the future. And importantly I just wanted to thank the maker of this site! Its helped me and countless others in fixing or customizing our lil one’s rides , so thank you!

    • Wow, I love what you did. I have an idea on which car you have, and those are very fun, and hard to find. I had done something similar to fix a vintage Little Tikes ride-on tractor tire, except I used a bicycle inner tube, and I think the rubber bands are a better option. So much fun playing around with these toys. Thank-you for sharing your project. I hope to be able to have a message board or something where people can share their ideas. You are welcome to make a post for my Facebook page. I know a lot of people would love to see what you did. Melissa 🙂

  26. So I have a older step 2 cozy coupe, I don’t know what year it is from. I don’t see any numbers or anything, it says step 2 on the left back side, it has a gray top and is red with a yellow gas cap. The license plate says snuggle Bug, anyway the back tires are both split down the middle, Is there a way to repair those? Or do I need new ones? Also the top is all one piece, is there a way to make that into one that has a handle to help push? Lastly the thing you put the key in is broken, do you know where I can get a new one? eBay has none!

    • For the key, have you tried Step2? I haven’t played around with the keys from Step2 so I can’t advise too much about that. For the tires, I am guessing it is very similar to Little Tikes, if you call Step2 ask if you can order new tires from them they probably would work. I still say that you have to do it balanced, so if it is one rear tire, then you will need two, and you don’t want a lop-sided car. Melissa 🙂

  27. I have a little tikes jr. Explorer wagon than is in need of a replacement wheel on the front. They don’t have a replacement part available for it at Little Tikes. I wondered if the size of the cozy coupe tire is the same and I can just get one of them instead? I believe it’s 7″ by 3 1/2″.
    Many, many children thank you,
    Jennifer Hulsey

  28. The tires to our Cozy Coupe have split.
    I want to try to fix them first & replace them if I have to.
    Has anyone try & succeeded fix them without replacing them.
    If you have, can you let me know how & what did you use.
    I’m kinda a person that I like to fix them before having to buy any parts.
    Thank you.

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